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When do companies pay dividends?

Wednesday 23rd January 2002

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Q: How do I find out what time of year companies pay their dividends?

A: There are lots of ways to get this information. The good thing is that most companies pay their dividends around the same time year after year. There can be changes if the company has moved their balance date but this doesn't happen often. Try http://stocknessmonster.com/ or another sharemarket website and review past announcements ('News') and look for interim and annual reports to the market.

Anything with a header like this - TEL: FY TO 30/06/00 $180M (99 $176M) DIV 5 CPS - is a profit announcement. Translated, this means that TEL (Telecom) has made a FY (full year) profit to 30/06/00 of $180 million compared to $176 million in 1999. DIV 5 CPS means the company is paying a 5 cents per share dividend.

Details of the record, ex & payment dates for the dividend will be contained within the text of the announcement. This is the format that brokers receive the information from the NZSE when announcements are made. NZ listed companies must make at least two of these announcements a year. Some companies, like Telecom, release their information quarterly, so there are four per year.

This is the fastest and cheapest way to find out information about any company you are interested in. You can also purchase a book produced by Datex Services (http://www.datex.co.nz/) called the Yearbook. This will have dividend information as well. You can request the information from your broker or ring the NZSE, which can also provide an historic list of dividend dates.

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